Monday, October 13, 2008

About This Weekend

I'm blogging live from the Verizon Center media room waiting for the arrival of one NHL commissioner, who goes by the name of Gary Bettman. Apparently his train from the palatial NHL headquarters in New York City is delayed. Tonight the Caps take on the Vancouver Canucks and it's pretty absurd to see the amount of media they have following them across the country. Seriously, it looks like the "ehs' outnumber the Americans two to one in the media room.

I brought the digital camera along for this baby, so I'll have a few shots up from behind the scenes of the Verizon Center later. But no amount of Canucks (both hockey and real live citizens of the country) can get my attention away from the embarrassment that was my two football teams of choice.

Let's put this bluntly: Michigan is terrible and the Skins decided to dog it for three quarters against the Rams. I figure I'll first turn towards the game I didn't actually watch: the Michigan-Toledo debacle. See, the worst part about all this is Toledo is the one Michigan stronghold in the state of Ohio, and of course they were the team to put that figurative nail in this season's coffin. No amount of explaining by Rich Rod can offset a loss to a 1-4 MAC team. None. I don't want to hear anything even attempting to appease this defeat.

A couple years ago, when I was travelling from Detroit to Providence for Thanksgiving I sat next to a guy who identified himself as a Toledo defensive lineman. The guy was me just a little more muscle mass since he clearly has to hit the weights in order to play D-1 football. I remember talking to him about the Big House and he was in awe of the place having grown up in Michigan. On that day, I could tell he couldn't even think of a day where Toledo beat the Wolverines. Apparently that day has arrived.

Lloyd would have never allowed this to .... oh wait App State. Seriously, though, a lot of people have taken this time to annihilate whatever mystique the Big House had left, but I look at it from another perspective. I had a pretty spirited text exchange with fan of the blog Kyle and he suggested Rich Rod is now on a short leash. I completely disagree considering the man hasn't even had a full recruiting season under his maize and blue belt. Meanwhile, many in the Michigan media are going with the "Bowl Streak, what about winning another game?" angle. I think Nate Sandals sums up the emotions of the Detroit sports writing world pretty succinctly right here:

What has to worry the fan base is a simple question: If the Wolverines can’t win at home against Toledo, then who can they possibly beat the rest of the season?

It’s not time to worry about extending the bowl appearance streak to 34 years. That ship sailed at about 3:15 on Saturday afternoon. It’s time to worry about getting a third win — for the entire season.

After the game Rodriguez and his players talked about taking a day to think about the loss and then moving on to Penn State. They always have that mantra, and sometimes it’s even believable, but not now, not after a loss like that.

This team has many worried simply because they are lacking in talent more so than any Michigan team I can remember. You've got McGuffie at running back, Odoms looking solid at wide receiver, and well, a bunch of defensive players who were supposed to be better than they've looked thus far. By the way, if you're looking for a look inside the brain of that McGuffie character, I highly recommend reading McLovin look a like Dan Feldman's story in the Daily about him. Seriously, the kid has got some skills (and I'm not just talkin about McGuffie).

Mr. McGuffie if you're nasty.

That's not a lot in the cupboard. That being said, Rich Rod struggled for several years at West Virginia, that is until he got the services of one Panther-growlin' fellow by the name of Patrick White. I think the Wolverines may have that quarterback in the fold in both Tate Forcier and Shavodrick Beaver, two recruits coming in next year. I think it's painfully obvious that Steve Threet, despite being just a redshirt freshman, is just not the answer in an offense completely reliant on the running decisions of its quarterback. Give the new guys (Forcier and Beaver) to get acclimated next year and I think you've got the makings of a bowl team NEXT YEAR. When those two are sophomores is the year Michigan makes it jump back to BCS level.

What I'm trying to say without saying it is that this is a lost season, which is pretty self explanatory after the debacle Saturday. Even making the Motor City Bowl (the place where grossly mediocre Big Ten teams go to die) would be a miracle slightly below the Americans defeating the Soviets in that fateful hockey game more than 28 years ago.

Let's move onto the Redskins because I don't feel like playing the "Who will Michigan beat on the remainder of its schedule?" game. It's a horrible game to play, worse than Chutes and Ladders (worst game ever, especially when you'd get to the top row and land on that fucking square that dropped you all the way to the bottom. Worst feeling ever, that is until I watched my college football team go up in flames against 1-4 Toledo).

*Also an update, Bettman arrived, I asked him how he felt about Sean Avery saying the NHL doesn't know diddly squat about marketing its players and he responded with a "We have campaigns, Sean Avery likes to talk" type of quote.

I'm a little less fumed about my Skins. Yes they did lose to the woeful Lambs, but they completely out gained them and would have won had it not been for a fat lineman (Pete Kendall to be specific) trying to turn into Clinton Portis. Seriously, we wouldn't even be having this conversation if that play doesn't happen. It was at least a 10-point swing, and probably more like 14 considering the Skins were moving the ball in large chunks on that drive. I thought this game would be close, but I never expected the the Skins to lose. It's too bad they decided to mail it in for three quarters and only turn on the jets come the fourth quarter.

This is the first and last time you'll see the picture of now-former Redskins punter Durant Brooks since he's been released after another horrid punting performance yesterday. A living, breathing example of why Vinny Cerato and Dan Snyder shouldn't even be allowed to manage your local fast food establishment. Seriously, we used a fifth-round draft pick on this guy.

Hopefully it teaches them the valuable lesson that they really aren't that talented, they've just been out executing and outworking the opposition. Also I think the whole Jon Jansen or Stephon Heyer debate needs to be put on hold after Leonard Little made Jansen look like a Pop Warner player on the pass rush. For the sake of being positive, let's just hope the loss to the Lambs guarantees the team shows up the next two weeks against the Browns and Lions.

Holy Toledo, I can't believe we lost to them (I'm talking about both teams).